Wanted to share my notes for an interesting wine from the holidays, plus impressions of some wines since.
This '88 white burg came from the idiosyncratic cellar of dear friend. Some research suggests that this is from a plot of vines literally just across the road from the legal boundary of Meursault. This is actually the second time I've tasted it, but the first bottle, last year, was rather corked, but seemed quite sound otherwise.
Domaine du Chateau de Meursault, Clos du Chateau, Bourgogne 1988
Burnished gold, and rather dark. Quite sherried initially, but over the course of 2 hours, mostly blows that off, and reveals, abundant hazelnut, butterscotch, stone fruits, and pineapple, with hints of pear and flowers, with citrus rind and mineral toward the finish. Quite pleasant, but might not be for everyone. Drink up. 2 Stars. [12/30/12]
And a nice 2006 Bordeaux later that day. I do love the 2006s.
Chateau Saint Genes, Cuvee Sublime, Premieres Cotes de Blaye 2006
Wonderful nose of tobacco, roses, abundant leather, spice box, dark fruits, and black earth. Similar character on the palate, with blackberry and currant, and succulent body. Dark and aromatic, full bodied, and delicious, with good tone. 3 Stars [12/30/12]
And now impressions of some interesting wines I've had over the past month but didn't write formal notes for.
From a nice dinner with a new friend of mine from the college faculty. He is Columbian, and made a wonderful meal featuring lamb chops.
Salvatore Principe, Brunello di Montalcino 2004
This is something like a negocient wine that my friend had picked up at Sam's Club. Fully mature with some browning, showing some nice Montalcino typicte of earth, orange rind, and herbs, with the dark, dense, earthy fruits that seems characteristic of the 2004s. A modest Brunello, but a very enjoyable one. 3 Stars [1/19/13]
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2007
I've had a lot of basic CdR's from 2007, but this is by far the best I've had, offering remarkable character, with cocoa powder, olives, tobacco leaf, earth, juicy blueberry, and meaty currant. This compares quite nicely with modest Chateauneufs, and is the best value Rhone I've ever had. 3.5 Stars [1/19/13]
Chateau La Gironie, Monbazillac 2009
Rich apricot, with some green notes, and a touch of botrytis spice. A light and elegant style of desert wine, with nice balance of richness and fresh acid. Based on this, the Sauternes of the vintage should be really exciting. I imagine this can easily age another 10 to 15 years. [1/19/13]
And somewhat more vague impressions of a few other interesting wines.
Milbrandt Vineyards, Traditions Rose, Columbia Valley 2008
A Syrah rose, and one of the most captivating roses I've had. Offers dark berry fruits and citrus, but also remarkable gamey notes. This is rather like drinking a very light bodied Northern Rhone Syrah, and I suspect it is capable of aging nicely for a few years. Quite unique. 3 Stars.
Stone Hill, Vidal Blanc, Missouri 2010
This is the best Vidal I've had, and possible the best I've had from Stone hill as well. This behaves very much like an Alsatian Riesling, with stone fruits, citrus, and steely mineral, the only difference being that it is slightly fatter in texture. A wine like this could put Missouri firmly on the American wine map, if only more wine lovers had the chance to try it. 3 Stars.
Stella, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2010
This cheapie gets lots of kudos from me for offering so much character and quality for its humble price tag: dark fruits, plum tomato, gravelly earth, and a salty tone. 2.5 Stars
JM Fonseca, Twin Vines, Vinho Verde 2010
Ripe pear, grapefruit, and a touch of nectar, with a bit of residual sugar, and a hint of bubbles, with generous acidity, all perfectly balanced and refreshing. This is what every off-dry Moscato wants to be when it grows up. Delightful! 2.5 Stars
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)